Claire Idell

About Susan

Susan Hunt currently works at Canada’s Ocean Supercluster as Chief Technology Officer and was a founding member of the senior management team that conceived and stood up the organization.  Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a pan-national, multisectoral initiative that is advancing our ocean innovation ecosystem in a digital, sustainable, and inclusive way by co-investing with hundreds of companies, research institutions, and other government and non-profit partners to accelerate the commercialization of ocean technology.  In her role as CTO she is responsible for the organization’s activities related to collaborative project development and selection, ocean technology commercialization, portfolio delivery management, intellectual property and ocean data.  They are delivering a portfolio of industry-led activity that includes over sixty multi-partner projects spanning across ocean sectors and domains, including offshore oil and gas and renewable energy, aquaculture, fisheries, transportation, biotechnology, marine decarbonization, and public sector markets.

Prior to the Ocean Supercluster, Susan has held a variety of innovation and product development roles in ocean focused companies and organizations in Canada and the US.  While working at Energy Research and Innovation Newfoundland and Labrador (formerly Petroleum Research NL), she managed industry-led collaborative research and development programs for Canada’s offshore oil and gas sector that focused primarily on improving the understanding of the ocean environment and ocean biodiversity in the context of industrial activity.  As Vice President of Operations for Mad Rock Marine Solutions, a company that designed, produced and installed lifeboat evacuation systems for cruise ship and commercial vessel fleets, Susan was responsible for global company operations, including oversight of manufacturing facilities in Asia and Europe, worldwide in-service and dry dock operations, regulatory approvals, procurement, and logistics.  In her role as the first Director of Business Development for Mitacs, a Canadian Network Centers of Excellence member, in Newfoundland and Labrador, she worked with faculty, students and post docs across many disciplines to help them find and obtain industry research internship placements with ocean companies. And in her early career, she spent 6 years working in the US as a prototype development manager, a software and database developer, and a naval architect for Brunswick Boat Group, the world’s largest recreational boat producer.

Overall, Susan has 20 years of diverse experience delivering success to large companies, industry-focused non-profits, and startup organizations.  Her key accomplishments include design, engineering, or production management for 25 ocean-focused B2C and B2B products, brokering of hundreds of commercialization and applied research partnerships across many ocean sectors that are delivering billions of economic value added, and management oversight for 100+ multi-partner innovation projects valued at over $380M.  Susan's key strengths are her ability to develop ideas with diverse groups, as well as realize organization, and community behavior change through thought leadership, service, and collaboration.

From an academic and community service perspective Susan has a varied background that has evolved in line with her career path and now considers herself to be more of a generalist vs a specialist.  She has a Bachelor of Naval Architecture & Oceanic Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a Master of Science in Information Systems and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Washington.  Susan has tried to stay up to date and serve the ocean community over the years by maintaining a practicing professional engineering designation, designing and instructing graduate engineering courses, taking graduate courses in new domains, and by serving as a director or industry representative on various boards and development committees.

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